Signature Theatre today announced eight productions for its 2012-13 season at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues), the company's new Frank Gehry-designed permanent home.
As previously announced, Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang is the 2012-13 Residency One playwright. Residency One is the continuation of Signature's core one-year Playwright-in-Residence program that produces a series of plays from the body of work of one accomplished writer. The Residency One: David Henry Hwang Series will feature Golden Child directed by Leigh Silverman, The Dance and the Railroad directed by May Adrales, and the world premiere of Kung Fu, also directed by Leigh Silverman.
Signature's Legacy Program, a homecoming for past Signature Playwrights-in-Residence, will feature the world premiere of Sam Shepard's new play Heartless, directed by Daniel Aukin; a new work from Bill Irwin and David Shiner (Broadway's Fool Moon); a new production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson; and a new production of the Obie Award-winning The Mound Builders by Lanford Wilson, directed by Jo Bonney. Signature devoted its 1996-97 Season to Sam Shepard, producing his plays When the World Was Green (co-written with Joseph Chaikin), Chicago, The Tooth of Crime, Action, Killer's Head, The Sad Lament of Pecos Bill on the Eve of Killing His Wife and Curse of the Starving Class. Shepard returned to Signature in the 2001-02 10th Anniversary Season for the New York premiere of The Late Henry Moss. Signature devoted its 2003-04 Season to Bill Irwin, producing his plays The Harlequin Studies, The Regard Evening and Mr. Fox: A Rumination. Signature's 2005-06 Season was devoted to the late August Wilson, with productions of his plays Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running and King Hedley II, while Lanford Wilson was Signature's Playwright-in-Residence during the 2002-03 Season, when his plays Burn This, Book of Days, Fifth of July and Rain Dance were produced.
Residency Five is Signature's newest initiative, a groundbreaking program that provides a group of playwrights with the full range of Signature's resources for a period of five years to create and produce new work, and guarantees each playwright a minimum of three world premieres at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Residency Five enables a diverse community of playwrights to build bodies of work, and provides them with a significant cash award, full health benefits and a stipend to attend theatre. Annie Baker, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Kenneth Lonergan and ReGina Taylor are the program's inaugural playwrights. The 2012-13 Season will feature the World Premiere of ReGina Taylor's ---- and potatoes.
Signature's current season continues next month, when Athol Fugard's My Children! My Africa!, Will Eno's Title and Deed, and Kenneth Lonergan's Medieval Play begin performances. Athol Fugard's The Train Driver, also a part of the Inaugural Season, will begin performances in August.